Accessible Driving Controls

Mojo Development is embarking on a long term project to help develop the hardware and software necessary to activate all vehicle primary and secondary controls electronically.

Most adaptive modifications for vehicles are outdated or ridiculously expensive, often both.

Old School

For example, one of the most common additions to accessible vehicles is hand controls, used to activate the throttle and the brake using one’s hand instead of their feet. These adaptations cost, at least, several hundred dollars and are truthfully nothing more than glorified broomsticks.

Outdated School

Electronic controls are available for all functions related to driving a vehicle. The issue with some is outmoded equipment and software. The issue common to all is expense, there is no way for an “average” person to afford fitting these controls to their vehicle without the assistance of outside financing.

Having boxes and joysticks and similar type controls wired into a vehicle is no longer state of the art, the interface between driver and electronic control needs to be modernized.

New School

There’s plenty of hope on the near horizon.

The best prototype of what’s possible with current technology in of vehicle controls is likely the “Arrow SAM Project” with a working C4 Corvette prototype controllable by a quadriplegic demonstrated at the 2014 Indy 500.

The problem of expense likely remains, however.

Make It Happen School

The work already done and close to production level, such as the above SAM project and Google’s autonomous car, should be leveraged into real-world controls for current production vehicles as soon as possible. We see some factors to significantly lower the cost to individuals quickly:

  • Access to factory electric and electrohydraulic power steering software and, perhaps, hardware to provide easily affordable and reliable effort reduction.
  • Use of off-the-shelf cameras and software, specifically PS4 and Kinect, for interfacing with drivers. Reinventing the wheel of motion capture technology adds to the expense of production products exponentially.
  • Use of other interface technology for controls. The “Myo Gesture Control Armband” coming to market now is the most promising technology for a universal control. It’s ridiculously inexpensive and has unlimited potential for disabled users.

Partnerships Sought

Mojo Development will be pursuing this project actively. While we have an extensive background in automobile and motorcycle technology, our design capabilities for electronic components are limited.

We are soliciting with likely candidates to assist with software programming and the implementation of mechanical actuation technology. There are only three design parameters for the final components:

  1. Enough safeguards to ensure the safety of the eventual clients and their passengers.
  2. Permanently installed components must be relatively unobtrusive.
  3. Vehicle components: standardization and ease of installation imperative.
  4. The user interface must have the capability to be easily programmed for the different needs of every client.
  5. The installed price must not exceed $5,000 for a complete system.

21 thoughts on “Accessible Driving Controls

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